coldplay hollywood bowl
Coldplay thrilling at Hollywood Bowl

Coldplay Hollywood Bowl over America. In a matter of days, they played historic shows at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, as did The Beatles nearly 40 years ago, and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver where U2 wowed America. They round off at New York’s Madison Square Garden, following the footsteps of bona fide giants like Bruce Springsteen. They are now, without question, the pre-eminent British band.

The first Hollywood Bowl show was broadcast live on countless radio stations across the US. ‘Clocks’ remains on high radio rotation. The band are now several level above Radiohead, the last British act to get close to American dominance and they are knocking on U2’s door. The los Angeles Times said Chris Martin was about to be “fifted for a halo” as the heir to “St Bono’s” crown.

Coldplay also squeezed in an interview and performance on LA’s influential KROQ Breakfast show, Chris Martin mixed with Hollywood A-Listers at the bat mitzvah of Steven Spielberg’s daughter and ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ marched back up the Billboard album char, edging into the Top 20 again after 39 weeks on sale. Oh, and Chris met Brian Wilson and had his head shaved.

“This is totally the best thing that’s happened to us… It’s all quite Springteen” Chris Martin

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl

The Beatles played the Hollywood Bowl three times in the mid-’60s, the first time on August 23, 1964 as the first wave of Beatlemania was sweeping the States, the second and third on August 29 and 30, 1965.

“The Hollywood Bowl was marvellous. It was the one we all enjoyed most,” said John Lennon of the first show, “because it seemed so important.”

When the band returned a year later they were the biggest band on the planet. They kicked off their tour with a show in front of 55,000 fans at New York’s Shea Stadium – the first major outdoor gig in the world – before moving on the West Coast. It was when they were in LA for the 1965 with LSD (Paul abstained for the time being) and the course of popular music was changed forever.

© NME June 14, 2003

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